What Does the Automatic Transmission/Automatic Gearbox Warning Light Mean?

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Modern automatic transmissions are full of sensors so that the computer can easily and accurately monitor things like fluid temperature, fluid level, and the overall pressure inside the transmission. Automatic transmissions are very expensive to replace so it is worth the effort to keep it well maintained.

What the automatic transmission light means

If the computer detects any abnormal readings from the sensors, a code will be stored and the automatic transmission indicator light will turn on to alert the driver of possible issues. Malfunctioning sensors will also give false readings causing the light to come on so always have the sensors tested again. One of the most common issues that causes this indicator light to illuminate is that the transmission fluid temperature is higher than normal.

What to do when the automatic transmission light is on

If this light comes on, it should be checked out as soon as possible. As mentioned earlier, automatic transmissions are very expensive to replace and they can sometimes be salvaged if you act quickly and get the necessary repairs done. You will need to scan the car’s computer for any codes to help determine the cause of the issue. You can check the fluid level and condition of your car’s transmission if it has a dipstick, but this won’t always lead you to the cause of the problem.

Is it safe to drive with the automatic transmission light on?

While the car may not drive differently with the light on, you should have the it checked out as soon as possible before any excessive damage occurs. Driving with this indicator light on for long periods of time is likely to cause a lot of wear to the transmission and reducing its lifespan significantly. Some vehicles may go into what’s called a “limp home” mode. Limp mode will limit the vehicle’s top speed to reduce the strain on the transmission.

If your automatic transmission light stays on, our certified technicians are always available to assist you in identifying any issues.


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Matthew

32 years of experience
781 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Warning Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
First off he was on time....actually 30 mins early which was great. Everything he described was what I was going through and he knew exactly what I needed before he even looked at the car. Other mechanics i feel were trying to take advantage because I am a woman but he made me feel comfortable. Still have to get work done on it but at least I know exactly what the problem was.
Chevrolet Tahoe - Warning Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
Very detailed and takes the time to explain what is being done. Willing to answer any questions you may have. I would definitely use his services again and have already been telling my coworkers about this site. I have a unique electrical situation going on with my truck that none of the dealers could assess. Just by Matt doing some general maintenance , my truck is already driving smoother. Matt asked that I monitor things to make sure we don't need to troubleshoot anything else. I feel quite confident.

Dominic

27 years of experience
157 reviews
Dominic
27 years of experience
Mercury Milan - Warning Light is on - Fort Myers, Florida
Dominic was professional and very helpful. He is knowledgeable and experienced. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs car repair or Maintenance.

Jason

31 years of experience
198 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Nissan Versa - Warning Light is on - San Jose, California
Saved me a ton of money by figuring out the real problem which was catalytic converter, not transmission fluid

Michael

20 years of experience
57 reviews
Michael
20 years of experience
Chevrolet Cruze - Warning Light is on - Upland, California
Thank you Michael for all your help and patience. Once this job is completed I will definetly request you again!!!

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